One of my father’s favourite expressions, mostly passed away now: for the birds. Meaning: that was nothing. In this aviary anthology, the narrator describes a post-art life that leads, inexorably, to the nature of nature. He makes a vow to the birds, sincere to the last, still embracing the fantasy that language came before the world.

“The Bosavi emulated bird sounds during funeral rites because birds were the only materialization in the world that reflected absence. Bird sounds were, according to the Bosavi, and in Feld’s words, ‘the voice of memory and the resonance of ancestry.’” Valerie Luiselli

“Often art knocks at the door where language barricades itself, and gradually the words start to spill out.” Krista Franklin